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April 30th, 2015

When we first arrived I laid out the little potager behind the house with diagonal walkways and a circular center bed. I really love this layout, especially with the way this garden orients towards the house and with the size. I’ve expanded the garden each year by about three or four feet on each side. It’s about twice as big as it was when I arrived 3 years ago. The result is now the walkways seem way too narrow.
potager 2 (2)
I’ve added boxwoods on either side of the entrance path, knowing I’d expand the walkways to make them wider. Now comes the work of widening the walkways. I’m moving a few perennials that are too close to where the new pathways edges will be.
potager 1 (2)
I don’t mind changing things in the garden, in fact that’s once of the things I love about gardening. Change is easy in the garden, plants can be dug up and moved and do quite well.
potager 2
Eventually this garden will become a soft fruit garden. The four triangular beds will be filled with different types of strawberries, there will be hedges of blueberries around the outside edges. Raspberries will fill in the lower hillside and I might even get a dwarf cherry tree to plant in the middle of the circular bed.


Do you ever make changes in the garden? Do you enjoy it?

Planting Frenzy

April 29th, 2015

I spent a few minutes on Sunday and an hour yesterday planting around 250 lettuce seedlings in the garden. That’s a lot of lettuce, but amazingly it will all be eaten. We will eat most of it, the remainder will be given to neighbors and friends. I might have even planted enough to take a basket each week to my local soup kitchen. Now that these seedlings are planted I’ll be starting flats of heat tolerant lettuces for summer salads.
File Apr 28, 9 30 26 PM
Some readers ask if it’s worth taking the time to start lettuce seedlings indoor, I think it is and will always do it. These seedlings will be big enough for me to start harvesting outer leaves in only two weeks. The seeds that I direct seeded in the garden are just beginning to germinate. Seeding flats gives me a 3 week jump on the growing season. Some of the containers I seeded at the same time are ready to be harvested. I’m so happy it’s salad season and could easily eat it three times a day (and often do).

Do you plant large quantities of any vegetables?

Cold Tolerant Tomatoes

April 28th, 2015

I’ve always grown a couple cold tolerant tomato plants for early fruit. They’re not nearly as good as a an heirloom on a hot summer day, but they’re better than grocery store tomatoes. This year I’m growing ‘Stupice’ and ‘Glacier’, both tolerant of temperatures down to about 40. I have read that some cold tolerant varieties will even set fruit when it’s this cold. Today I plan on moving a few to these lovely out into the low tunnel in the back garden, a few will be planted in pots to be put in a sheltered location by a rock wall. I’ll give a few away to local friends to try as well. I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my mom has always been trying to get an early tomato, one year she had one for the Fourth of July. We’ll see how early I can be enjoying a freshly harvested tomato on my BLT.
cold tolerant tomatoes 2
Another reason I love growing these varieties is to help maintain them. Years ago cold tolerant vegetables were selected and passed along to friends/neighbors in cold areas. We have lost some of that information and diversity. It’s wonderful that we live in a time when it’s easy to connect with so many people and these resilient varieties of fruits and vegetables are once again readily available to us.

Do you try to beat the season with cold tolerant varieties?

Lotsa Lettuces

April 27th, 2015

Yesterday I spent a little bit of time transplanting lettuce seedlings. They were a bit bigger than I’d like, but with all the rain and cold nights we’ve been having lately I couldn’t get them planted sooner.
lotsa lettuce 1
Luckily it started raining as I was finishing up, so they’ll get watered in quite nicely.
lotsa lettuce 2
These beauties were planted in alternating rows in the garden. I find that this helps me keep the varieties separated much more easily. I’m super excited about salad season and I think that I should be able to harvest a salad or two from my container lettuce this week. Guess it’s time to start making up a few batches of dressing.

What’s your favorite type of lettuce to grow?

Quote of the Day: Marilynne Robinson

April 26th, 2015

“Sometimes I have loved the peacefulness of an ordinary Sunday. It is like standing in a newly planted garden after a warm rain. You can feel the silent and invisible life. All it needs from you is that you take care not to trample on it.”

Marilynne Robinson in Gilead

I often watch the weather and plant my seeds right before it’s supposed to rain. I like that they get watered in right away and I always hope it speeds germination. This is what I’m feeling this week, the peaceful patience of waiting for seeds to germinate and grow. The radishes I planted last week are just springing forth, very soon I will start to see spinach, arugula, cilantro, onions, beets, and a few other seedling emerging from the soil.

What seeds have you planted this week?


This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.